The second commemorative coin to appear from the US Mint in 2004 was the 2004 Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Silver Dollar. The individual silver commemoratives were released on May 12, 2004, in both proof and uncirculated qualities.
Each silver dollar celebrates the "Corps of Discovery" which led Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark into the frontiers of the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase. The Corps left on their expedition in 1804 and did not return to civilization until 1806.
The two year trek through the frontier led the Lewis and Clark expedition into many unknowns, including first contact with several Native American tribes and hundreds of never before seen species of flora and fauna. Its purpose was to record the resources acquired in the Louisiana Purchase — which doubled the land area of the United States — to find a possible Northwest Passage to the Pacific Coast.
Lewis and Clark Silver Dollar Information
Each Lewis and Clark Silver Dollar was struck to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the undertaking of the Corps of Discovery Expedition. Congress authorized the commemorative coins under the Lewis and Clark Expedition Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act (Public Law 106-126) which was approved on December 6, 1999.
A maximum mintage of 500,000 commemorative coins were authorized by Congress. The uncirculated and proof silver dollars were sold individually and as part of two unique sets. One was the Limited Edition Lewis and Clark Coinage and Currency Set. The US Mint described it this way:
"An uncirculated Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Silver Dollar, a silver-plated bronze duplicate of the Jefferson Peace Medal, each of the two uncirculated 2004-dated nickels in the Westward Journey Nickel Series™, a 2004-dated uncirculated Golden Dollar depicting Sacagawea, and two insightful booklets written by archivists from the National Archives and Records Administration on the expedition and the Louisiana Purchase. In addition, the set includes a replica Series 1901 $10 “Bison” United States Note from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, which bears the likenesses of Lewis and Clark on either side of a majestic bison, and three Lewis and Clark expedition stamps from the United States Postal Service."
The commemorative coins were also included as part of the Lewis and Clark Coin & Pouch Set. It consisted of a proof Lewis and Clark Silver Dollar in a handmade American Indian pouch and a certificate of authenticity.
Shown on the obverse of each Lewis and Clark Silver Dollar is an image of Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark as designed by US Mint sculptor/engraver Donna Weaver. Also seen on the obverse are the inscriptions LEWIS & CLARK BICENTENIALL, 1804 1806, 2004, LIBERTY and IN GOD WE TRUST.
The Lewis and Clark Silver Dollar reverse was also designed by Donna Weaver. It depicts two Indian feathers representing the many Native American nations encountered on the trip. It also contains an image of the Jefferson Peace Medal and 17 stars representing the 17 states in the Union in 1804. Included inscriptions are E PLURIBUN UNUM, ONE DOLLAR and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
A second commemorative coin was also issued by the Mint in 2004 known as the Thomas Edison Silver Dollar.
2004 Lewis and Clark Silver Dollar Specifications
|Composition:||90% silver, 10% copper|
|Total Estimated Mintage:||351,989 Proof, 142,015 Uncirculated|
|Minting Facility:||Philadelphia (P)|
|Obverse Design:||Image of Lewis and Clark|
|Obverse Designer:||Donna Weaver|
|Reverse Design:||Image of two feathers, Jefferson Peace Medal and Stars|
|Reverse Designer:||Donna Weaver|